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Death penalty not sought against former NOPD officer in Henry Glover shooting
Aug-06-2010 1425 0


The Justice Department doesn't intend to seek the death penalty against a former New Orleans police officer charged with fatally shooting a man in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

The car in which Henry Glover's body was found on the Algiers Point levee shortly after Hurricane Katrina.

A court filing Thursday discloses that decision in the case against David Warren, who allegedly shot and killed 31-year-old Henry Glover before his charred body turned up in a burned car after the 2005 storm.

Warren and four other current and former New Orleans officers pleaded not guilty in June to federal charges. One of the two charges against Warren -- depravation of rights under color of law -- carries a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty.

The charges against former Lt. Robert Italiano, Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, Lt. Travis McCabe and Officer Gregory McRae include obstruction of justice.



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FOX 4 May-24-2017 21 0
A jury couldn’t agree on a verdict in the trial of a Fort Worth police officer who shot a man who was holding a barbecue fork.

Jurors on Wednesday sent two notes to the judge saying they were deadlocked with five people reaching one verdict and seven reaching the other. They couldn’t come to a unanimous verdict and the judge was forced to declare a mistrial.

Officer Courtney Johnson was on trial for aggravated assault for shooting and wounding Craigory Adams in June of 2015. Dashcam video shows him responding to a call of a prowler with a knife. The knife turned out to be a barbecue fork.
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May-22-2017 69 0
The Freddie Gray case lives on with the Baltimore Police Department’s decision to bring internal charges against five of the six officers involved in the case, with at least three of them also facing termination.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who was driving the police van in which Gray sustained fatal injuries, along with Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White, could all be fired as a result of the internal disciplinary action.

Officers Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, who made the initial arrest of Gray, face up to five days’ suspension without pay. Officer William Porter is currently not facing any disciplinary action in the case.

Investigators from the Montgomery and Howard County police departments finished reviewing the case earlier this month and handed in a report indicating the results of the investigation to city police May 12. However, as the Sun reports, that report has not been released.

The BPD asked the Montgomery and Howard departments to conduct the investigation to avoid any conflict of interest.

The five officers facing punishment were informed of the charges Friday, according to the Sun. Michael E. Davey, an attorney who deals with internal-affairs cases for the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police, said that they are charged with “violations of policy and procedure.”

The officers can choose to accept the recommended punishment or contest the charges before an internal disciplinary panel or “trial board.” Those trial boards are open to the public under a new state law, the report notes.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis imposes the discipline and will ultimately have the final say, the Sun reports.

Gray was arrested April 12, 2015, and died a week after of a severe spinal injury that an autopsy ruled he sustained while riding in the back of a police van without being properly restrained with a seat belt.

Prosecutors charged the six officers in the case with charges varying from misconduct to manslaughter to second-degree murder, and all officers pleaded not guilty.

Porter went to trial in December 2015, but that trial ended in a hung jury, resulting in a mistrial. Nero, Rice and Goodson were all acquitted in bench trials last year. Prosecutors subsequently decided to drop the remaining criminal cases.

What the internal disciplinary action means, however, is that investigators concluded that officers did break department rules in the case.
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carrie wells May-22-2017 164 0
Authorities are investigating whether the stabbing death of a black college student who was visiting the University of Maryland during graduation weekend was a hate crime.

The chief of the university police said Sunday the suspect, a white University of Maryland student, is a member of a racist Facebook group. An FBI official said the federal agency will assist with the investigation.

The victim, identified by police Sunday as Richard Collins III, was due to graduate from Bowie State University this week. The Calvert County man had completed ROTC in college and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army on Thursday, according to school officials and a family spokesman. He was 23.

Police have charged Sean Christoper Urbanski, 22, of Severna Park with first-degree murder in the attack. He was being held without bail. His family did not respond Sunday to a request for comment, and online court records did not list an attorney.

In this new digital age, it’s easy to assume change is limited to only technology, but it encompasses society and demographics as well—basically the very nature of work itself.

"We are looking forward to the quickest investigation as possible," he said. "Hate has no place in America. Hate has no place on a college campus where young minds are coming together to try to change the world."

The Rev. Darryl L. Godlock, serving as a spokesman for the Collins family, said the young man had obtained his airborne certification. Collins wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a military veteran, Godlock said.

"He wanted to make his parents proud of him so he went into the military to serve his country," Godlock said. "It was a great opportunity for him to advance forward and make the most out of his career."

Godlock said Collins was close to his family.

"This was not a thug," Godlock said. "This was a very caring individual. He was highly intelligent and he was at the peak of his career. He loved his family, he loved people that he came in contact with, and more importantly he loved his God."

Collins was a vibrant, funny and outgoing student whose ambition rubbed off on his friends, said Vidal Adams, a fellow Bowie State student and friend. Collins talked about wanting to travel the world and go skydiving and surfing, he said.

"He wanted to be a general of the United States Army, that was his ultimate goal," said Adams, a senior criminal justice major. "He was the definition of a leader. I can't really say the same about a lot of people."

Collins was waiting with two other students for an Uber ride outside the Montgomery Hall dormitory on Regents Drive near U.S. 1 at about 3 a.m. Saturday when he was attacked.

The stabbing was captured by a surveillance camera, police said. They called it unprovoked.

Witnesses said the suspect was intoxicated and incoherent at the time of the attack, police said. Police have said the victim and suspect did not know each other.

Officers called to the scene found Collins wounded on the sidewalk, police said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Urbanski was arrested at the scene, police said. Officers recovered a folding knife, police said.

Collins' friends told police they heard the suspect scream as he approached them.

The suspect said "Step left, step left if you know what's best for you," police wrote in charging documents. Collins said "no," police wrote. The suspect continued to approach, and stabbed him once in the chest.

Police said initially there was no indication that race played a role. But University Police Chief David Mitchell said information about the Facebook group was brought to their attention on Sunday.

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AP May-19-2017 166 0
A judge confirmed Prince's six siblings to be his rightful heirs in a ruling released Friday, bringing them a big step closer to collecting their shares of the music legend's multimillion-dollar estate.
Carver County District Judge Kevin Eide formally declared that Prince died without a will and that his heirs are his sister, Tyka Nelson, and five half-siblings — Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, John R. Nelson, Omarr Baker and Alfred Jackson.

The siblings will still have to wait to inherit their shares of Prince's estate, which court filings suggest has an estimated value of about $200 million, though taxes are expected to consume about half of that.

More than 45 people came forward in the wake of Prince's death, claiming to be his wife, children, siblings or other relatives. Some, including a Colorado prison inmate who said he was Prince's son, were ruled out through DNA testing. Others, such as a woman and girl who claimed to be Prince's niece and grandniece, had their claims rejected as a matter of law.

Some of those people filed legal appeals, and Eide said that if appellate courts send any of the rejected claimants back to him, he will consider them. And until the appeals are resolved, Eide said the siblings won't be able to collect anything without his approval.

Eide previously signaled that the six siblings would likely be named Prince's heirs, but he also had said he wouldn't make the declaration until appeals had been decided. Lawyers for the siblings didn't want to wait, though, saying further delays would increase costs to the estate and impede its efficient administration. The siblings' attorneys didn't immediately reply to phone calls seeking comment Friday.

Attorneys for rejected claimants had urged Eide to wait for appeals to be resolved before naming the heirs. Andrew Stoltmann, a lawyer for the woman and girl who say they are Prince's niece and grand-niece, said Friday that he hadn't seen the new ruling but would examine it and determine whether to appeal it.

Prince died April 21, 2016, of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid drug 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Since his death, Prince's Paisley Park studio complex and home has been turned into a museum and concert venue. His estate has also struck deals to make his albums available by streaming, and next month plans to release a remastered "Purple Rain" album as well as two albums of unreleased music and two concert films. The values of those deals and revenue generated from Paisley Park tours have not been disclosed.
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MEGAN CERULLO May-18-2017 150 0
A 6-year-old Mississippi boy was kidnapped and found shot to death in the back seat of a Toyota Camry Thursday, police said.

Kingston Frazier was sitting in the back of the car when it was stolen from a grocery store parking lot.

“We had everyone on the lookout for this particular vehicle. It was discovered abandoned on the side of the road in Madison County,” police said.

Kingston’s mother, Ebony Archie, left the car running with her son sleeping inside, while she went grocery shopping, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department said. Two men pulled up to Archie’s car, jumped inside, and sped away with her car and her son, local media outlets reported.

Suspects Dwan Wakefield and DeAllen Washington are in custody.
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CHRISTINA CARREGA May-18-2017 190 0
A man who hired a hitman to murder his lover’s husband was jealous and wanted to replace him, according to an attorney.

“You saw a better life with Alishia, would you say that?” attorney Damien Brown asked Alishia Noel-Murray’s former lover, Dameon Lovell.

Brown represents alleged shooter Kirk Portious, 28, who is accused of getting paid $3,500 to kill Omar Murray, on Feb. 24, 2013. Lovell, 33, allegedly propositioned Portious to kill the man after another pal didn’t complete the job on Feb. 6, 2013.

Brown grilled Lovell as to why he did not shoot Omar Murray himself.

NYC woman’s boyfriend says he advised divorce over hit on spouse
“That’s not what I do,” said Lovell, who admitted he had other lovers while his wife was pregnant with his fourth child.

“Isn’t it true you wanted him to get beat up but couldn’t do it yourself because he’s bigger than you?” asked Brown.

“No,” said Lovell, who has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a sentence of 15 years to life.

“Isn’t it true you wanted to beat him up in his own house to have him suspect Alishia was cheating and then move out so you can move in?” asked Brown.

Brooklyn woman 'seemed calm' after hit man killed husband
“No,” said Lovell.

If convicted, Portious faces 25 years to life in prison.

Noel-Murray, 28, faces life without the possibility of parole if convicted for setting up the murder-for-hire plot.
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RACHEL DESANTIS May-18-2017 183 0
A week after Steve Harvey issued a controversial note to his staff, his ex has issued her own sort of memo.

The TV star's second ex-wife, Mary Harvey, has sued the "Family Feud" host for $60 million, alleging that he damaged her "soul," TMZ reports.

Harvey's ex, whom he married in 1996 and divorced in 2005, is reportedly suing for child endangerment, torture, conspiracy against rights, kidnapping, murder, breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

They share one son, Wynton, and Mary reportedly alleges in her lawsuit that the pain of losing him (Steve has custody) has robbed her of the joy of Mother's Day, and has left her suicidal and self-medicating to cope.

In the document, which was filed not by a lawyer but by a "civil rights activist," Mary writes, "All was loss Mary L. Harvey was dead," the gossip site reports.

Harvey's representatives declined comment.

Harvey, 60, and Mary endured a contentious breakup, and this is not the first time the two have had to settle drama in court.

Though their divorce was finalized in 2005 and Harvey has since remarried, drama erupted in 2011 when Mary posted a series of YouTube videos claiming Harvey had an affair during their marriage and left her with nothing when they divorced.

A judge later slammed her in a court declaration for potentially breaking a gag order and spreading false information, pointing out that she was given three homes in the property settlement and received $40,000 each month through March 2009, as well as an additional $1.5 million.

In the videos, Mary also accused Harvey of taking their son from her, but the 2011 court documents revealed that Mary knowingly sent their son to Harvey without Harvey's knowledge.

Just last week, Harvey faced backlash after a memo sent out to members of his staff revealed that the talk show host did not want his employees to approach him.
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AP May-18-2017 206 0
A jury on Wednesday acquitted a white Oklahoma police officer who says she fired out of fear last year when she killed an unarmed black man with his hands held above his head.

The family of Terence Crutcher burst into tears and expressed outrage after jurors found Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby not guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the Sept. 16 shooting. About 100 demonstrators later gathered outside the courthouse and some briefly blocked a main street.

"Let it be known that I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder," Crutcher's father, Rev. Joey Crutcher, said after the verdict was announced.

A lawyer for Shelby said the officer was "elated" that the jury found her not guilty.

"She's ready to get back to her life," Defense Attorney Shannon McMurray said.

Shelby looked stone-faced when the verdict was read, but Crutcher's family was quickly ushered out of the courtroom sobbing and wailing.

At least four of the 12 jurors were crying as they left the courtroom and they did not look at either the family of Crutcher or Shelby. The jury comprised eight women and four men and included three African-Americans.

Shelby testified that she fired her weapon out of fear because she said Crutcher didn't obey her commands to lie on the ground and appeared to reach inside his SUV for what she thought was a gun. Crutcher was unarmed.

Prosecutors told jurors that Shelby overreacted. They noted Crutcher had his hands in the air and wasn't combative — part of which was confirmed by police video taken from a dashboard camera and helicopter that showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby, hands held above his head.

Shelby's attorneys argued that in the two minutes before cameras began recording the encounter, Shelby repeatedly ordered Crutcher to stop walking away from her and get on the ground.

Shelby also said she feared Crutcher was under the influence of PCP, a powerful hallucinogenic known as Angel Dust that makes users erratic, unpredictable and combative.

An autopsy showed PCP was in Crutcher's system, and police said they found a vial of it in his SUV.

Crutcher's family said police attempted to "demonize" Crutcher over the drug possession to deflect attention from the fact officers didn't find a gun inside his SUV.

The killing of 40-year-old Crutcher was among a spate of officer-involved shootings in recent years that helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted calls for more police accountability.

About 100 demonstrators gathered in a plaza outside the courthouse Wednesday evening to protest the verdict. They chanted: "No Justice, No Peace. No Racist Police." A smaller group later briefly blocked a major downtown road but dispersed peacefully. Police kept a relatively low profile, standing about a block away.

Marq Lewis, organizer of the local civil rights group We The People Oklahoma said the verdict was a blow to Tulsa's black community.

"When is it going to stop — just officer-related shootings? When will the police change policy?" he asked.

Tulsa has a long history of troubled race relations dating back to a 1921 race riot that left about 300 black residents dead. In 2015, a poorly-trained white voluntary deputy, Robert Bates, shot and killed a black man after Bates said he mistakenly reached for his gun rather than a taser. The shooting led to the departure of the sheriff.

Six days after the Crutcher shooting, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler charged Shelby. An affidavit accused her of "becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted."

Defense attorney McMurray argued that prosecutors rushed to charge Shelby for political reasons, fearing civil unrest like the angry street protests that erupted in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott four days after Crutcher was killed. But the reaction in Tulsa was more muted, with protests but no violence.

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COLLIN BINKLEY May-17-2017 214 0
Black students at Harvard University are organizing a graduation ceremony of their own this year to recognize the achievements of black students and faculty members some say have been overlooked.

More than 700 students and guests are registered to attend Harvard's first Black Commencement, which will take place two days before the school's traditional graduation events. It isn't meant to replace the existing ceremony, student organizers say, but rather to add something that was missing.

"We really wanted an opportunity to give voice to the voiceless at Harvard," said Michael Huggins, president of the Harvard Black Graduate Student Alliance, a campus group that is planning the ceremony. "So many students identify with the African diaspora but don't necessarily feel welcome as part of the larger community, and they don't feel like their stories are being shared."

Harvard joins a growing number of universities that have added graduation events for students of different ethnicities. Some have offered black commencement ceremonies for years, including Stanford University, Marshall University and the University of Washington. Some have added them more recently, and are also adding events for a variety of cultural groups.

The May 23 event at Harvard will feature four student speakers discussing the hurdles they faced on the way to graduation. Every student will receive a stole made of traditional African kente cloth, meant to symbolize their shared heritage and to be worn with their cap and gown at the university's graduation.

Students have raised $35,000 for the event, mostly from schools within the university. Organizers say some university deans and professors have agreed to attend. A Harvard spokesman declined to comment.

"This event is truly open for everyone," said Huggins, who is graduating with a master's in public policy this month. "We really want this to be an open affair where people can learn about some experiences that often go unnoticed."

Students at Harvard began an annual Latino graduation ceremony in 2015, and black undergraduates have held similar events. Students say the new event is the first that's open to black students across the university.

The University of Delaware held its first ceremony for LGBT students this year, joining dozens of other colleges that have added such "lavender graduation" events in recent years.

Along with its traditional commencement, Virginia Commonwealth University last year added new ceremonies for black students, Latinos and military veterans.

"They're small affairs, but they're meaningful," said Michael Porter, a spokesman for the university. "It's really a social event, and one more time to get together as you wind down the college career."

Cultural graduation events are typically started by students, experts say, and often by those who feel marginalized on their campuses. They can be particularly important for black students, many of whom are the first in their families to graduate from college, said M. Evelyn Fields, president of the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education.

"When you're a little speck of pepper in a sea of salt, you can get lost," said Fields, who is also a professor of early childhood education at South Carolina State University. "They don't want to just be lost in the sea. They want the recognition that they believe they deserve, for the work that they've done."

Black students at Harvard represent 5 percent of the overall student body, compared with whites, who make up 43 percent, according to federal education data. Campus tensions at the Ivy League school have been heightened over the past two years after a series of racially charged episodes.

Harvard police called it a hate crime when framed portraits of several black law professors were defaced in 2015. No suspect was found. Months later, the law school agreed to abandon its official coat of arms after student activists protested the symbol's ties to an 18th-centry slave owner.

Organizers of the Black Commencement say it's partly meant to highlight racial disparities on campus. But ultimately it's a celebration of achievement, said Jillian Simons, a law student and president-elect of the Harvard Black Graduate Student Alliance.

"We want to acknowledge how far we've come," Simons said. "We want to say that there is a time to be jubilant and to acknowledge something that is positive instead of something that is causing heartache."
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